A new study conducted by a group of researchers of India has found a strange new planet, which takes revolutions around its parent star. According to the scientists involved in the study, the sun-like parent star is located near about six hundred light years ahead of the Earth.
This super-Neptune-sized or sub-Saturn exoplanet has been reportedly named as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. The K2- 236b exoplanet is near about twenty-seven times larger in comparison to our planet with a radius measuring six times that of the Earth. As revealed by the researchers at the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad in India, one year on the Earth is equal to only around 19.5 days on the K2-236b exoplanet. This implies that the distance between this newly discovered exoplanet and its parent star is much shorter in comparison to the distance between our Earth and the Sun.
This new planet was initially detected by the Kepler Space Telescope of NASA and as denoted as a “candidate planet.” However, the Indian researchers involved in the study confirmed it to be a planet instead of a mere comet or some other astronomical body.
The Indian team of researchers headed by Abhijit Chakraborty at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad, conducted the study for near about 1.5 years at the PRL’s Gurushikhar Observatory at Mount Abu in India. As a part of the study, the researchers analyzed the transformations occurring in the light being produced by the newly discovered planet’s parent star named EPIC 211945201 or K2-236. The researchers also performed a separate mass confirmation test of the planet.
On the basis of the study, the researchers said that the planet K2-236b is unfit for life because of its high surface temperature that measured near about six hundred degrees C. Due to its closeness to its parent star, the planet is too hot to support the evolution and sustainability of life.
The study also discovered the presence of heavy elements like iron and silicates in the atmosphere of the K2-236b exoplanet. These elements have a mass that was estimated to be near about sixty to seventy percent of the total mass of the EPIC 211945201.
The observations of this study were published in the American Astronomical Society’s Astronomical Journal, where the research team reported, “We report here strong evidence for a sub-Saturn around EPIC 211945201 and confirm its planetary nature.”